“He is God not of the dead, but of the living.” Matthew 22:23-33 I come from a very close family. At our most recent family gathering, there were some noticeably not there. The week leading up to our planned event was very difficult for me because I knew that my mother would be one of those missing. She absolutely loved these gatherings. As I sat next to my cousin, we began talking about various things, laughing at the maturity and immaturity of our lives. I noticed she had some of my mothers’s mannerisms and attitudes. I so needed to see that and thought to myself, surely God is good. For indeed she lives. My mother lives not just in me but in my family and others as well.
Food will not bring us close to God 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 I have to say, there are times (in certain instances) when I beg to differ with Paul. Some years ago my two young sons and I visited my paternal grandmother in South Carolina. We arrived around 9:00 pm having gotten lost because the roads were very dark and I kept missing my turn. I made sure I called to let her know our ETA so she would not worry. Much to my surprise when we got there she was in the kitchen frying chicken! Being August, it was 90+ degrees. She had prepared a full meal and my sons and I were quite grateful. My grandmother cooked everyday we were there. At my grandmother’s table, we sat, talked and laughed. Surely, heaven must be like this! Perhaps it wasn’t the food, but it certainly helped to create a different kind of presence of being. My grandmother’s name was Esther. (Click on the name to know more) She is gone today but her table is never forgotten.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
“The only thing you have left at the end of the day is family, and we your family.” Complete with fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, ham, collard greens and a soul train line to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” This Christmas is my contemporary favorite. With all the familiar character lines and all the right music it shares the hopes, joys and struggles faced by many families today. It’s been four years since everyone in the Whitfield family was home for Christmas. Like most families there are several stories to be told, but all the elements of love, care and understanding remain in place. Before everyone goes their own separate ways, This Christmas has provided another opportunity to laugh together, cry for each other, and love one another in the way that is unique only to them. Family really is what it’s all about. It takes shape in various ways and is no longer traditional as we’ve known it in the past. Families can be any combination of relatives both immediate and extended, several generations, long time friends and some friends more recently. Families are the people who are there for you. More importantly, family keeps it real because it’s not always their responsibility to tell you what you want to hear. Every family has its own way but always at the end of the day your family is what’s left. I know for myself it’s always been a blessing.